Cameroon coach Volker Finke has expressed satisfaction after qualifying the Indomitable Lions for the 2015 Nations Cup, absent in 2012 and 2013 and after the disastrous 2014 World Cup.
“I signed the contract with the Cameroon government and the federation with two goals: qualification for the World Cup and the African Nations Cup in 2015.
“It is quite good that we are going forward, after the perilous World Cup with young players and there is need to be a bit patient”.
The Lions picked their qualification ticket after beating the Leopards 1-0 to top Group D with 13 points ahead of Ivory Coast with nine points and DR Congo with six points.
Finke’s squad qualifies without losing, picked a draw and won the other games with one game to be played against Ivory Coast for the last qualifier on Wednesday.
“Victory and qualification came thanks to the solidarity of the players and the staff, it was difficult but we worked hard and this is the base for success” he said.
Aboubakar Vincent scored the goal that liberated Lions and took the team straight to the African football jamboree at the 71st minute into the encounter.
Replacing Choupo Moting who apparently was not in his element, the striker of FC Porto connected a pass from Kweukeu into the net and changed Finke’s game.
The game gathered some steam after a lacklustre first half in which the Lions shot right into the waiting hands of Congolese keeper, Kidiba Robert with a unique hairstyle.
But, Finke justifies the play style, “The game required the technical discipline of the players and we are playing modern football with pressing not only in the offense but in the defence and we are not a counter attack team, a team that is progressing.”
During this time Cameroon goalkeeper, Fabrice Ondoua was idling in his post and only got busy in the second half.
Ondoua got rattled when he made a poor appreciation of the ball, missing his save to collide with Congolese attacker. Fortunately, Nicolas Nkoulou was on the right spot at the right time to save the Lions from conceding a goal in the first half which probably would have psychologically played on their performance.
For Finke, “the match was difficult because the players had to control and attack and watch out of the counter attacks of the Congolese squad known for a dangerous counter attack style”.
Meanwhile, Captain Stephane Mbia hailed the coach for trying to create a mentality, instil discipline in the group and conduct which the team is adapting to and which is the reason for the wins.
The lions would lock horns with the elephants of Ivory-Coast for their last Group D game on Wednesday and though looking forward to the duel without pressure.
But, Finke says, “if we want to progress as a team, we have to play well against Ivory Coast and that is why we would give the players time to relax and go back to training”.